Courses

An examination of the evolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with an emphasis on how regional and world power factors have affected, and been affected by, this conflict. The course will cover the historical background of modern European imperialism, the nature and character of the Palestine Mandate period, followed by discussion of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948 and the simultaneous emergence of the Palestinian Problem. The 1956, 1967, and 1973 Arab-Israeli wars and their relation to the rise of the Palestinian Resistance Movement will then be covered, followed by an analysis of the "peace process" of the 1990s and its breakdown.
The use of force is often considered to be the most effective form of power, yet nonviolent strategies of action can, in many cases, provide more efficient and successful means to achieve one's goals than the ultima ratio of violence. Those who rely on "just war theory" to advocate for the necessity of war should note that in the 20th century (and early 21st century), nonviolent forms of resistance to oppressive authority generated more profound social and political transformations than violence. Most recently, direct nonviolent action has helped facilitate democratic transitions and is proving to be the most promising means to bring justice and overcome oppression in current struggles in Burma, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Western Sahara, Zimbabwe, and Belarus. This course will draw on a range of literature, theory, and case studies in international relations to examine these and other questions: "When is nonviolence a preferable alternative, both ethically and strategically?", "How does the regime context (e.g., open society vs. dictatorship) influence the menu of nonviolent options?", "Why have some nonviolent movements been successful while others have failed?", and "What insights does the application of nonviolent action provide to the global community?".
An examination of political violence, terrorism, and legal structures affecting management of conflict. Includes introduction to scientific methodologies used to study political violence and both current and historical conflicts. Course learning objectives include: gaining an understanding of social science conceptions of "terrorism" and "political violence"; increasing knowledge of terrorism actors, motivations, organizations, and forces that mark the use of violence for political gain; gaining knowledge of the historical epochs of political violence and the controversies that result from a response by targeted nations and actors; and creating, examining, and analyzing theories and concepts that inform our understanding of legal structures, terrorism, and political violence.
This course will read gender and power in international relations and other social science theory alongside science fiction and fantasy. Themes will also include race, nationalism, human rights, and cultural imperialism. Texts will include socially and politically relevant graphic novels, film, and television series.
A comparative analysis of the political development of Asia. After a review of the legacy of colonialism and those theories related to economic development and democratic transition, this course will examine the political systems of selected countries in the region.
A comparative analysis of politics and political development of Third World countries. International and domestic obstacles to modernization will be studied. The general analysis will be supplemented by an intensive scrutiny of selected countries and regions.
A comparative analysis of the political development of Latin America. After a review of the major theories related to economic development, revolution, and democratic transition, this course will compare the political systems of selected countries in the region.
An examination of the psychological sources of political leadership and decision-making. A study of the roots of political belief and extremism, as well as the acquisition of civic outlook in childhood and adolescence.
Examination of the structure and process of urban and regional governments within the context of state sovereignty. Such aspects of local government, in both large and small urban areas, as planning, bureaucratic administration, social services, economic issues, the political policy-making process, and civil rights will be discussed in depth.
An examination of regulatory policies as they affect business and land use decisions in the United States. Structural, legal, and procedural aspects of the regulatory process are explored along with reform and deregulation. Explores the economic, environmental, and political consequences of land use control.

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